From all sides of the animals testing and research debate, everyone agrees that animals are sentient beings and this has been recognized in the Treaty of Amsterdam. Sentiency is the ability to feel, perceive or be conscious, or to have subjective experiences. In relation to animals, sentience implies the ability to experience pleasure or suffering.
During an interview session with brain researcher Peter Janssen, who uses macaque monkeys to understand depth perception, I asked him what it was like to perform experiments on non human primates who I would imagine have a higher level of consciousness than other animals.
The cameraman and I were pretty surprised when Professor Peter Janssen greeted us at Leuven university hospital reception. We were expecting someone… well we weren’t expecting Peter. On one hand he’s a relaxed straight-talking family man, on the other he has already published a long list of neurological research alongside some heavy-duty medical qualifications and awards.